This publication has been updated in Jan 2014 and includes the latest scheme rules and detailed specifications for capital items.
Good water quality is important because it provides clean drinking water, safe bathing waters, productive fisheries and a healthy environment. It is vital for wildlife and biodiversity and encourages countryside recreation and tourism so benefitting rural businesses. In future years water quality standards will become increasingly stringent. The EC Water Framework Directive requires Member States to prepare river basin management plans and manage water resources in a sustainable manner. A key objective is that rivers should achieve good ecological status in terms of water quality and this will require action in both urban and rural areas with implications for farming.